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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Guest Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Image from Goodreads
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 24 May 2012
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.


Strangely this book had not even come onto my radar, which is a huge shock once I found out how much popular interest it’s gained and also when it found itself of Richard & Judy’s Summer Book club list but anyway. I don’t want to use all the stereotypical magical language to describe this book, because however right it is, it seems an understatement. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is simply beautiful, bewitching and the tone and language used is absolutely captivating and perfect for the setting that is created and grows with the novel.

“The Circus arrives without warning” and only opens at night and punters are treated to a late 19th century spectacular that cannot be beaten. Where you expect trickery and illusion, you are actually met with real, unaccountable feats of “magic” which are truly fascinating. I don’t read fantasy or science fiction or anything like that and this novel doesn’t fit into those categories because I have no reason to believe that it couldn’t be enjoyed by absolutely everybody, it’s that good.

The Circus is the backdrop to a more sinister undertaking between two young, specially selected illusionists who spent their entire childhoods being trained and developed into their modern day selves. Celia and Marco are tied into a ‘game’ which is about more than what it seems and as the novel develops there is more than what it seems to all those involved in the circus production. The feats of imagination that Morgernstern is able to create are undeniably beautiful and the way she draws and develops the circus is just breath-taking – my favourite features included The Wishing Tree and Widget’s special room so look out for them, they’re amazing.

When looking back at this novel you can’t fail to comment upon the illustrative nature of its format too. Pages throughout are scattered with stars and this adds another element which adds to the all-round wonder created by this novel, to the extent that I’ll have to buy my own copy after I return this one to Emma!

My only tiny misgiving as that the ending wasn’t strong enough for me, it seemed to peter out a little but this was by no means enough to detract from my overall love and enjoyment of the novel.


  1. Vivienne_dacosta30 May 2012 at 11:19

    I loved this books! Amazing. 

  2. I really want to read this book. x

  3. great review Beth, I really want to read this 


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